Nevada Basketball: Looking Back At The Highlights Of The Musselman Era
Here are a few highlights from the Nevada Wolf Pack during Eric Musselman’s time in Reno
A Look Back At The Memorable Moments Of Nevada Basketball Under Musselman
The Eric Musselman era in Nevada came to an end on Sunday when the former Wolf Pack head coach accepted the same position at the University of Arkansas.
Musselman departs Reno for the greener pastures of the SEC as he has left Nevada in a better place than when he took over the program back in 2015 when the program was coming off a 9-22 record. Musselman built the Wolf Pack program from the doldrums to the top of the Mountain West standings.
Now that Eric Musselman is gone, it is time to reflect on the incredible work he has done with the Nevada program and look back at the incredible highlights of the Wolf Pack when he roamed the sidelines.
Here are a few of the memorable moments of the Eric Musselman era in Nevada.
Nevada wins CBI Tournament in Musselman’s first season-2016
In Eric Musselman’s first season with the Wolf Pack in 2016, he took over a Nevada program that went 9-22 the previous season and turned it around into a 19-13 season and a birth in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) Tournament. It was Nevada’s first postseason tournament appearance since making the NIT back in the 2011-2012 season.
In the CBI tournament, the Wolf Pack defeated Montana, Eastern Washington and Vermont before advancing to the CBI Tournament final against Morehead State. In a best two out of three series the Wolf Pack defeated Morehead State two games to one to win the school’s first ever CBI tournament championship.
Nevada’s run to winning the CBI tournament capped off an incredible turnaround season for the Wolf Pack under Musselman and that run would be a positive sign of things to come in Reno.
Nevada’s comeback against New Mexico in The Pit-2017
Taking on the New Mexico Lobos on the road, the Wolf Pack found themselves down 25 points to the Lobos in the second half. But propelled by the stellar play of Jordan Caroline, the Wolf Pack came back from double digits to tie the game and send it to overtime.
In the overtime period, the Wolf Pack came back from a five point deficit to defeat New Mexico 105-104. Caroline made the game winning three point shot to lift the Wolf Pack over New Mexico in a game that Eric Musselman said that “It was the greatest win I’ve ever been apart of.”
Musselman’s Wolf Pack teams had a tendency to be down by a large number only to comeback and win the game. Safe to say this would not be the last time an Musselman coached Nevada team would comeback from a large deficit to win a game.
The debut of Shirtless Musselman as Nevada wins their first Mountain West Championship-2017
Nevada won their first ever regular season Mountain West championship back on March 4th 2017 as they defeated Colorado State in Reno 85-72.
It was Nevada’s first outright regular season conference championship since 2012 when Nevada was in the WAC. But most importantly it was the debut of Shirtless Musselman when Eric Musselman would take off his shirt and celebrate with the fans at Lawlor Events Center as Nevada won the Mountain West
The Wolf Pack faithful and the folks nationwide would see Shirtless Musselman a couple more times as Nevada would win a few more Mountain West regular season titles and a Mountain West tournament title in 2017. But Nevada’s win over Colorado State to win the Wolf Pack’s first Mountain West championship was the debut of Shirtless Musselman.
Nevada Miraculous NCAA Tournament Run-2018
In the 2018 NCAA Tournament, the Nevada Wolf Pack, after wrapping up a second straight Mountain West regular season championship,went on a tournament run that was filled with close contests and thrilling comebacks.
In Nevada’s first round game against the Texas Longhorns, the Wolf Pack came back from a 14 point deficit to force overtime. And from there, Nevada defeated the Longhorns in overtime by a score of 87-83. In the second round game against the #2 seeded Cincinnati Bearcats, the Wolf Pack once again came back from another double digit deficit (this time it was a 22 point deficit ) to defeat Cincinnati and advance to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2004.
In the Sweet 16, the Wolf Pack lost a close contest to Loyola-Chicago but it is safe to say that Nevada’s run in the NCAA tournament was a highlight in the Musselman era and will not be forgotten among the Wolf Pack faithful.
Nevada Clinches Third Straight Mountain West Title-2019
The Wolf Pack secured a share of their third straight Mountain West regular season championship back on March 15th when they defeated the San Diego State Aztecs 65-56 in Reno.
It was a memorable moment for a few reasons as this was Senior Night in Reno and the last game at Lawlor Events Center for the key cogs in Nevada’s successful 2018-19 season(Caleb and Cody Martin and Jordan Caroline). It was also the Wolf Pack’s third straight MW regular season title and also it would wind up being the last game Eric Musselman coached for the Wolf Pack at Lawlor Events Center in Reno.
The Musselman era may be no more but what he has done for this Nevada Wolf Pack basketball program will be forever imprinted in the history of this program and will never be forgotten in Northern Nevada. Musselman may no longer be in Reno coaching the Wolf Pack be he certainly will not be forgotten.